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To weigh or not to weigh: How often to do it and is it necessary at all

To weigh or not to weigh: How often to do it and is it necessary at all How often it is necessary to weigh (illustration: Freepik)
Author: Daryna Vialko

If you have a scale at home, you can weigh yourself at any time.

Read about how often you need to weigh yourself and why you need to do it in the material by RBC-Ukraine.

What weight indicates

Weight helps determine body mass index (BMI). The number that appears on the scale is the sum of lean body mass—muscles, organs, bones, and fluids like water and blood—as well as fat mass.

Weight alone, without taking into account height and other factors, says almost nothing about health.

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a specific measure that helps determine if a person's weight is healthy by considering their height and weight.

BMI is calculated using the following formula: weight (kg) ÷ height squared (m) = BMI.

For example, with a height of 165 cm and a weight of 60 kg, BMI can be calculated as follows: 60 ÷ (1.65 x 1.65) = 22.03.

This index is interpreted as follows:

  • A number less than 18.5 - underweight
  • A number from 18.5 to 24.9 - normal weight
  • A number from 25.0 to 29.9 - overweight
  • A number from 30.0 and above - the risk of obesity

However, as noted by the Ministry of Health, BMI is used for those over 18 years of age. To understand if a child's weight is healthy, starting from two years old, BMI calculations also consider gender and age, in addition to height and weight.

Moreover, the standard BMI formula is not used during pregnancy. Additionally, BMI alone cannot be an indication of health.

Muscle mass, which is denser than fat, increases a person's weight, potentially pushing the BMI out of the normal range—as seen in professional athletes.

Furthermore, BMI does not take into account factors such as genetics or past illnesses. Therefore, only a doctor can make any diagnosis after necessary examinations and tests.

How often should you weigh yourself?

While weighing yourself provides an understanding of weight, daily weighing is not a universal solution.

Зважуватися чи не зважуватися: як часто треба робити процедуру і чи потрібно взагалі

How often to weigh yourself (illustration: Freepik)

As noted by Donald Hensrud, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, weight gain includes not only fat but also muscle mass. Therefore, a constant number on the scale does not necessarily indicate an unchanged fat mass, especially with regular physical activity.

When to weigh yourself regularly

Regular weighing can be beneficial if your goal is to maintain a healthy weight, whether it’s gaining or losing weight, as determined by a healthcare provider. It also helps monitor changes in your body for the early detection of possible problems.

It is essential to remember the importance of a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and routine medical check-ups. Changes in weight, fatigue, and other symptoms might be due to underlying issues, such as metabolic disorders, that will not disappear due to a self-selected diet.

Earlier we wrote about whether it is safe to sleep in contact lenses.

Sources: Ministry of Health, Health.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.